I keep seeing these tourism advertisements that say “Incredible India!” I’m not so sure about that word. More like Epic. In India, this word encapsulates so much of the experience of wayward travelers and do-gooders such as myself. The nature is epic. The traffic is epic. The smiles are epic. The sewage is epic. The history is epic. The faith is epic. And the poverty is epic too.
I came because I was entranced with this word. And with these two words: Epic Change. Many years ago I would have thought I would have been instilling the change in others. The other day I read the Times of India, and like a flash of lightning, this quote tore through the page into my memory: “Yesterday I was clever. That is why I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise. That is why I am changing myself.” – Sri Chinmoy. I couldn’t find a better way to talk about my work here in India, or as a human being. Whatever expectations I have of my contributions here will be drastically changed and turned upside down in a way that will be the perfect teacher. After saying yes to the fellowship and before even starting my official work, my life decidedly did back flips and cart wheels just to make sure I was paying attention and still hanging on for the ride.
There is so much I want to share of myself here. Through my work as a clinician, I’ve learned the value of Silence. A quiet that allows other’s stories, hopes, dreams and aspirations to come forth. I’d like to speak less and listen more to the stories that India tells me. It is in the space of deep listening that people can feel the power within themselves. I couldn’t have asked for a better placement than APV School to explore the ways in which people connect and contribute to one another across cultures. How can I help others to access their inner potentials? How can I harness my own? That is my epic hope in India.